How long does it take to start a business? A month? Half a year? Every entrepreneur knows how long it takes to create a business, starting from that raw and underdeveloped idea to the final working product. Now try doing all that in less than three days. Too hard? Think again.
Just this past October, over 150 Filipino developers, graphic designers, tech entrepreneurs, and venture capitalists gathered at MINT College in McKinley Hill, Taguig City for the very first Startup Weekend Manila, the local edition of a 54-hour event where participants come together to pitch their business ideas, form teams, build products, and launch startup businesses.
Startup Weekend is one of the most successful startup accelerator programs from the United States, with the concept very quickly becoming a global movement aiming to take tech startups from ideas to investment readiness in a two and a half day intensive mentoring program.
On the first day, participants did one-minute pitches of their ideas to developers and venture capitalists. After voting for the best ideas, they formed teams to discuss the needed resources and talents to make the idea come true. On the second day, teams got into the nitty-gritty details of their ideas and started building product prototypes with the help of mentors. And on the last day, the teams presented their ideas in the form of a short pitch and product demo to a panel of judges who then evaluated their proposals to determine the winner.
After 54 grueling hours, Liezl Buenaventura, a graphic designer and artist won the top prize for her idea, HobbyMash, a social network that connects people according to their hobbies and location, allowing them to interact, collaborate, and meet up to with other members. On the other hand, Judge\\\'s choices for first place went to Ventee and Learning Hub (Qwago). For the full list of winners, click here.
Next year, Buenaventura will participate in a four-month bootcamp in Singapore where she will undergo intensive product development training sessions together with other Startup Weekend teams from Australia, India, Indonesia, Singapore, and Thailand. There they will receive S$ 15,000 to help fund their startups projects. Not bad for three days of work.
Click on the gallery below to see what happened during the event.